This assignment for my reality show class involved creating a hypothetical reality show. We had to then pitch it to the class and write a paper where we analyzed our pitch. Here is my paper. The class found mine funny. Maybe it could be a good satire/parody of Reality TV.
The name of my (hypothetical) reality show will be called Englewood. It is set in one of the most notorious and violent neighborhoods of Chicago. The goal of the show is depict the “real” stories of the residents of Englewood, seen through the ideas of several young adults. The cast will be followed as they live their daily lives, to show what it “truly” means to live in the ghetto, while dealing with issues such as crime, faulty relationships, poverty, and so on.
Several characters and archetypes are depicted in Englewood. One young lady is short in height, but big in attitude. She likes to wear short dresses, high heels, gigantic hoop earrings, and wears hair extensions that go down to her lower back. She also had a huge appetite…for men and has had sex with multiple guys, most of whom she picks at clubs, or rather, they pick her up at clubs.
Another character is a wannabe rapper. He acts in a very cocky manner. He thinks he’s a pimp, a player, a stud, and the type of man that women adore. Not only that, he likes to wear clothes with lots of swag, including long chains and sagging pants. He also has numerous tattoos, and in all, he embodies the gangster appearance.
Next is a young woman who has no drive to do anything other than to live on welfare. She is lazy and irresponsible. She has four children all by different fathers. She spends most of her child support and welfare money.
Next is a young man who is a gender-flipped version of the previous character. He considers himself a player and as such has 30 children with 12 different women. He has only a minimum wage job and the mothers of his children often get far less child support than they are owed. He does make an honest attempt to be in hid kids’ lives, but it’s hard when he has so many kids.
I would include these characters because they represent what people think of people from the ghetto. We see these archetypes in hip-hop. We hear about them on the news. These character types truly represent negative stereotypes; I would expect to see them in a reality show that focuses on black people, unfortunately. If such a show were to exist, it may as well be a modern day minstrel show, only with actual black people.
The intended audience of the show is young adults, particularly those in the African-American community who live the hip-hop culture. The show is also intended to speak to people who live in low-income neighborhoods. The show does depict certain aspects of black culture, even if they are not necessarily positive.
The characters on the show would be seen wearing clothing and accessories from various urban and hip-hop clothing lines such as Sean John and Roca Wear. Also, the characters would regularly indulge in alcoholic beverages such as Patron and Courvoisier.
Again, my choices for products are inspired by hip-hop culture. The clothing lines were created by hip-hop artists, and the alcohol mentioned seems popular to talk about in hip-hop songs. This is playing into stereotypes, of course.
The types of commercials I would recommend would be fore clothing brands, entertainment, and the like that appeals to “urban” American young adults. I would also recommend commercials for general needs such as food, hygiene products, and so on, that all young adults would need.
Once again, the running theme is this show is about people in the ghetto and lots of them are interested in hip-hop music and the entire culture that goes along with that. The commercials, therefore, have to fit with what the characters are like, and what the people watching would want to buy.
In conclusion, this is my pitch and the analysis thereof. I have explained the premise, characters, intended audience, product tie-ins, and recommended commercial. I have also explained why I chose the elements I did. Reality TV could be positive, but sadly, people don’t want to watch things like that. Therefore, I have made sure that I created something with all of the aspects that people love to watch in reality shows: drama, broad personalities, and stereotypes.